In the early days, I would nurse, then pump, then feed one of the babies with expressed milk in a bottle - while nursing the other two. This worked pretty well ... but, I found that I was constantly on the couch with a baby (or two) attached to me. Slowly, I began feeding the babies with bottles during the day, and nursing them in the evening and early morning. Once I made the transition to feeding all three of them with a bottle, I struggled with how to get all three of them fed at once.
Enter ... Podee Bottle.
(Imagine the clouds parting and a ray of sun shining on my weary face).
Podee Anatomy: The Podee is comprised of two tubes, separated by a disk, that are attached to a nipple and screwed on to a bottle. When a baby sucks on the nipple, milk goes up the tubing and in to their mouth. This allows for completely hands-free feeding, which is especially helpful when you have more babies than you do hands. And ... they are all hungry!
Podee Dynamics: I've heard some people say "I tried the Podee and it didn't work."
I always respond "Huh?"
So long as your baby has mastered the suck, swallow, breathe reflex (for our babies that wasn't well developed until they were a couple months old), a baby can use the Podee. People will say that they see the milk going "back down the tube" and assume it doesn't work. Here's my best attempt at explaining fluid mechanics:
There has to be a constant vacuum on the nipple to keep the tube entirely filled with milk. The fact is, babies aren't always sucking. They are swallowing and breathing. So, during those times when they swallow & breathe, the milk appears to be going back down the tube. When they do suck, they fill up the "reservoir" of the nipple - so there is always milk for them to swallow, when they suck again. If you ever wonder if they are really getting anything, just keep your eye on the volume, and you'll notice it's going down. If the volume isn't going down, there could be a problem with the nipple***. Read on ...
Other Podee Tips: You don't need to buy the "Podee" bottles. All you really need are the disks (or discs) that screw in to the collars - the straws (the short one that goes in the bottle, and the long one that goes to the nipple) and the disks (there are 2 disks per "feeding system" ... on screws on to the nipple part, and holds the long hose to the nipple - the other screws on to the bottle part - connecting the long hose to the short hose).
The cheapest route to go here - is to buy regular Gerber (Playtex) Bottles (9 oz) and just use the collars with the Podee disks and tubes. You'll need 2 collars PER bottle, though - so what I did is purchase the collars separately (directly from Podee). ***We used the hospital issued nipples rather than the Podee nipples. We found that these worked better. You just have to be sure they have a completely flat bottom (no ridges) to keep a good seal with the disk.
The Podees took some time to clean, but like everything else, we had a system in place. I had about 30 Podees. I used 12 Podees a day (3 bottles x 4 feedings a day) so I did not have to wash bottles every single day. The tubings were rinsed after each feeding (to remove gross contamination) and stockpiled in a cup. I would then clean all of the dirty tubes once every 2 or 3 days and reassemble the tubes, disks, and nipples, so I could just grab a Podee, attach it to a bottle and GO! GO! GO!
Podee Summary: This single invention simplified our life with infant triplets - more than I could have ever possibly imagined. Not only could we feed all three babies at once (which became increasingly important the older they became and would not tolerate waiting to be fed), I could prepare the rest of their meal while they had their bottle, and because they were fed while sitting upright, they had less incidence of gas and spit-up. Additionally, I could clip their nails while they'd eat, and I could easily feed the babies at home OR while on the go.
Oh, Podee Bottle. How I love thee!